Factories in the 15 nations sharing the euro saw demand grow slightly faster than expected in February, official EU data showed on April 23. New industrial orders in the eurozone surged by 0.6% in February from January and jumped 9.9% over the same month in 2007, the European Union's Eurostat data agency said.
The result exceeded economists' forecasts for orders to rise 0.4% over one month and increase 6.9% from January 2007.
The firm February growth came despite the euro's record run on currency markets, which makes the eurozone more expensive on international markets, hurting the bloc's exports. February's strength was underpinned by growing demand for electronics, chemicals and textile products while notioriously volatile orders for transport equipment slipped along with orders for machinery.
Meanwhile, in the 27-nation EU new industrial orders remained unchanged in February and rose 9.2% over one year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008